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THE incentives and measures in Budget 2005 are likely to focus on four key areas - fiscal consolidation, enhancing business competitiveness and increasing domestic investment, promoting and developing new sources of growth and capital market expansion.
The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, with poor fourth-quarter growth data and declining business confidence heightening worries about the strength of the economy.
Standard Chartered Bank (StanChart) expects Bank Negara to cut its key interest rate, or overnight policy rate (OPR), by 25 basis points in the third quarter of next year.
The outlook for the local equities market in the fourth quarter appears neutral, with more excitement expected only in 2007, analysts and fund managers say.
With inflation believed to have reached a peak in several economies across the globe including Malaysia's, and a trending down in interest rates, consumers could feel more encouraged to increase their spending and investments.
AFTER the euphoria and cheering when Bank Negara lifted the peg in July 2005, the bullish sentiment faded by end-December 2005 as offshore and even local investors became rather disappointed that the ringgit failed to garner speed in appreciation.